Asian Stocks Advance

Asian stocks climbed, giving the regional benchmark index its fourth-straight weekly advance, as world leaders agreed on measures to fight the global recession., Bloomberg 4/3/2009 6:17:58 AM

Toyota Motor Corp. jumped 7.3 percent in Tokyo after obtaining loans from a Japan-owned bank to finance U.S. car sales. National Australia Bank Ltd. rose 6 percent on speculation U.S. accounting changes for banks will stimulate lending and ease the global credit crisis. Harbin Power Equipment Co., China’s No. 2 maker of electricity-generation equipment, advanced 3.3 percent in Hong Kong as a Chinese manufacturing index released yesterday signaled an expansion for the first time in six months.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.6 percent to 86.77 at 7:18 p.m. in Tokyo, taking its advance this week to 1.5 percent. The gauge has climbed 23 percent from a more than five-year low on March 9 amid speculation governments will succeed in easing the global financial crisis. A 20 percent gain is the technical level that indicates stocks may have entered a bull market.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.3 percent to 8,749.84, cutting its decline this year to 1.4 percent.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 1.5 percent. Markets advanced except in China, Indonesia and Malaysia. The MSCI World Index rose for a fourth week, having climbed 7.2 percent last month, the most since April 2003.